5 Mistakes most bikers make when dressing for cycling
Stay away from these 5 very common mistakes bikers make with their clothing.
Nothing beats the freedom of a great bicycle ride. When you’re in “the zone” it’s just you, your bike and the moment. No worries, no problems, just the wind on your face and the speed underneath your wheels.
Nevertheless, all that “vibe” can be ruined by tiny details that you might not even care about and they can be hidden in your own biking clothes!
They are not just a form of expression. Looking pretty is good, but being comfortable is necessary and the main feature your biking clothing needs, is safety! After all, you will be speeding, turning and dealing with other vehicles like cars and even trucks.
To help you bike away without any complications, please pay attention to the 5 most common mistakes bikers tend to commit with their clothing.
There is a reason your helmet has a pointy part in the front, and that reason is to keep things away from your face!
If you wear your helmet in the wrong way, not only it will leave your forehead uncovered, it can severely harm and bruise the back of your neck in a crash. Level your helmet correctly, and if you have doubts look online or read the manual.
Don’t let the modern, crazy, nice looking designs of helmets fool you: the best way to level your helmet is to make sure you have the same amount of support from the back and from the front. The main objective is to keep the helmet stable. You will know it is correct when it doesn’t move in any direction after you strap it on. That can be done using both straps that goes around the ears for adjustments.
The back of the helmet also comes equipped with devices for adjustments, even though they look like a common support. You can tighten or squeeze them to keep your helmet tightly secured on your head. If it’s loose when you move, it sure won’t be able to protect you in an accident. The helmet must feel locked even without locking the lower straps.
2. No undies!
Many people wear underwear along with their padded shorts. It might feel weird, but those shorts are designed to protect your intimate parts, and if you wear an underwear you can have a big problem with skin irritation due to the sewing, elastics and extra fabrics from the underwear.
That won’t happen on short rides, like a work commute, but on long distances and training, or whenever you spend more than 30 minutes on your bike, the pads work as a saddle and they are meant to be used solo. No underwear between the padding and your skin.
Imagine this: you’re pedaling with 90 rpms. That means thousands of motions creating friction against your skin from unwanted underwear sewings. Avoid them at all costs, and keep it fresh and comfortable with the padded shorts and nothing else.
3. Loose shorts
The next mistake is also about the shorts. Make sure everything is tightly secured in its own place. If you’ve ever watched a big race, you must have noticed the funny motions cyclists makes before the race. That’s meant to adjust everything in their proper place, and find the right place for the padding. There is no use if the padding is loose and keeps bouncing around.
You shouldn’t stretch your shorts too much either, both stretched shorts and misplaced pads can be bad for your blood flow and it won’t support your bum and back as it should. As soon as you adjust your shorts properly, you’re good for many hours of riding.
4. Choosing the right jacket/jersey
When you’re buying your jacket or jersey for cycling, take notice that you will wear it in different conditions than your regular clothes. That means if your jacket or jersey is not tight enough, your performance may be compromised.
When you’re buying at the store, it may look as if it's a good fit, but as soon as you hop on your bike, there is way too much material in the front, the back goes up and the sleeves are just too short. How to get it right? Simple: try it on while mimicking the same position you’d do when riding. If they have a bike for you to try it on while sitting on it, even better. Or maybe you can take your own, it’s up to you.
The right jacket might look too tight at first glance, and it won’t feel comfortable on the chest, but it’s perfect for riding. You want enough material at the back to protect your kidneys from wind, and low hanging material at the front to ensure great aerodynamics.
5. Overly tight shoes
The last mistake happens very often when you buy your first clipless pedals, usually you will get a shoe and tighten it around your feet to make sure you can pull the pedals like crazy and do the jumps and whatnots (even if that is not a good way to learn or to ride).
But an overly tight shoes will decrease the blood flow, and after an hour your feet will become sore and numb, with danger of hurting yourself. Just loosen the strap a little bit and you’re good to go.
Try to not commit those mistakes from now on, and you will notice a great increase in your performance!